Train at least one person to handle your position,
and do not be afraid that whomever you train will
surpass you. Supervisors who train and develop
subordinates make possible their own advancement,
because higher level managers want good people in
Good supervisors provide for each person in their
unit. They encourage their people to take advantage of
educational opportunities. When the individuals in the
group feel that a supervisor is interested in their welfare
and that the job offers more than just pay, they develop
a strong sense of cooperation and loyalty.
Setting the Example
An important part of your job is to set an example.
Supervisors who are enthusiastic about their jobs, who
are friendly and good humored, and who foster harmony
among their associates, do much to create a cooperative
attitude in their group by their own example.
Do not fail to give credit where credit is due, and do
not forget to pass on any credit given to you. Good
supervisors give full credit to the team. Frequent and
sincere praise is a wonderful incentive to individuals and
to the group as a whole.
Tactful Handling of Personal Problems
Personal problems arise almost daily in any group
of people. You must tactfully handle each problem.
Rumors about any of your personnel, disputes between
personnel, family troubles, and similar situations can
disrupt the efficiency of the group. Usually, positive
action from you is required.
Try to solve problems that arise in your shop or
between crew members, if solving those problems is
within your capability. This does not mean that you
should act as a chaplain, marriage counselor, or
psychiatrist. It emphasizes the need for you to be able to
recognize the symptoms of problems that require special
help, so that you may arrange to have those problems
placed in proper hands as soon as possible.
In each case, first listen and get all the facts; then
tactfully bring about a solution so that all concerned
can go back to the job and work in harmony. The best
course of action is usually to face problems squarely
and honestly, bringing them out into the open on a
one-to-one basis, and solving them before they become
BREAKING IN NEW PERSONNEL
Suppose you are in the middle of a rush job. You are
behind in your paper work. You have been called to the
phone unceasingly. You are considering going on
special liberty because nothing has gone right. Then,
right in the middle of it all, a new crew member, now
assigned to your shop or crew, arrives.
The most important thing at the moment is to get
this person off to the right start. Remember, the
impressions this individual receives during the first days
on the new assignment will carryover for a long time to
come. The future attitude of this person concerning the
outfit is being molded, good or bad, during this period.
Below are some suggestions for properly handling new
members of your crew.
l Put people at ease. Give them a cordial greeting.
Make them feel that you are glad to have them. Be
tactful. Get their names straight and remember them.
l Show personal interest. Seek out topics of mutual
interest. Ask about their previous work, their families,
and if they have been properly berthed.
l Give them the right point of view. Let them know
you have confidence in them and that you expect and
demand good work. Now is the time to build proper
attitudes and loyalty.
l Tell them about the work. They are eager to know
what they will be doing. Show them how their jobs will
fit in with the whole picture and help them feel that their
jobs are important.
l Give them essential information. Do not confuse
them with endless details. Write down for them some of
the essential information, since at this time they have so
much other information to remember.
l Introduce the new people to each member of the
crew they will work with and to any others whom they
need to know.
. See them again at the end of the day. Ask them
how they are doing and give them a few words of
. If you cannot personally carry out the foregoing
suggestions, put new personnel in the hands of a trusted
subordinate who is well qualified to handle the situation.
Explain the reason for your unavailability and tell the